Shigella (shih-GEHL-uh) is a bacteria that has been traced to people who have recently traveled to the Dominican Republic and other countries abroad, and while it’s not unusual, the antibiotic prescribed to combat it is not helping.
"This is the first time we've documented this large an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant (shigella) linked to international travel," Dr. Anna Bowen of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press.
Health officials say there have been more than 200 cases since last May, with the largest outbreaks in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and spreads very easily through contaminated food or pools and other places where large numbers of people congregate.
The most common symptom is diarrhea, which usually lasts a few days. Shigella is not fatal.
Sometimes antibiotics are used to fight it, but the one most in circulation – Cipro for adults – is becoming more and more resistant to treatment.
The CDC says it continues to monitor the situation and suggests real simple solutions to help contain any spread – such as washing hands frequently.